University and College Anecdotes (Post No.5613)


COMPILED by London Swaminathan

Date: 1 November 2018

GMT Time uploaded in London – 17-43

Post No. 5613

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Dr Charles W Eliot, the eminent educator of Harvard whose fate it has been to be dubiously immortalised by a five foot shelf of books, was once asked how Harvard had gained its prestige as the greatest storehouse of knowledge in the nation.

In all likelihood , said Dr Eliot slyly, it is because the freshmen bring us so much of it, and the seniors take away so little.



Attorney General Seymour of Virginia snorted at the establishment of William and Mary College, which was founded not only to inculcate learning but to save souls? He cried.

Damn your souls. Make tobacco.



Sir William B—, being at a parish meeting, made certain proposals which were objected to by a farmer. Highly enraged, Sir, said he to the farmer, do you know, sir, that I have been at two universities, and at two colleges in each university?

Well, sir, said the farmer, what o’ that? I had a calf that sucked two kye, an’ the observation I made was, the mair he sucked the greater calf he grew.


100 years to make an oak tree!
When James A. Garfield was president of Hiram College a man brought up his son to be entered as a student. He wanted the boy to take a course shorter than the regular one.

My son can never take all those studies, said the father.
He wants to get through more quickly. Can’t you arrange it for him?
Oh, yes, said Mr Garfield, He can take a short course: it all depends on what you want to make of him. When god wants to make an oak he takes a hundred years, but he only takes two months to make a squash.


A guide, New at his business, was showing a group of tourists around Oxford. Conscientiously, he pointed out all the places of interest. Coming in front of one of the buildings he paused and said,
‘And this is Trinity Hall, where the president of the college, the famous Benjamin Jowett, lives.’
Glancing around at the upturned faces, the guide then stooped and picked up a handful of gravel and threw it at a second story window. A red faced and a furious man opened the window almost immediately and peered out.

And that is president Jowett himself, said the guide in a tone of voice as though he had just completed a task well done.



Hendrik Willem Von Loon was visiting Cambridge.
That, said someone who was showing him around the university, is Miss Jones, pointing to a formidable looking female striding along before them. She is the mistress of Ridsley Hall.

Who, asked Von Loon, is Ridsley Hall?

Xxx Subham xxx